BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
West Indies plan to extend their unbeaten run in Tests to six consecutive wins when they meet Zimbabwe here today in the first of two Test matches that wrap up their Caribbean tour.
West Indies are currently on a four-Test winning streak, having last won five Tests in a row back in the late 80s, when they were still the reigning kings of world cricket.
The Caribbean side is currently ranked number seven in the ICC Test rankings, while Zimbabwe are currently unranked, as they have played insufficient matches.
"This series doesn't really post many points to us, but we have Pakistan later down in the year and it would be a very important season for us in terms of points," said captain Darren Sammy.
"We are now just focusing on Zimbabwe and we have two Test matches and we are looking to extend the run we have had in winning Test matches, and we believe we could go out there and do that."
The inclusion of Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle has boosted the squad ahead of the first Test at the usually pacy pitch at Kensington Oval.
All-rounder Samuels is returning after a two-month injury lay-off while Gayle is coming back into the squad after being rested for the ODIs and the T20s.
A number of big names have also been omitted from the squad for the first Test, including off-spinner Sunil Narine, middle-order batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.
"It is always good when you have that kind of competition, giving the selectors a headache to pick squads, but the team has won four in a row, so the guys have been doing well and we are all backing them to go out there and continue that job," said the West Indies captain.
"You know it's 13 guys that could be selected on the squad, so we will back them and we will go out there and try our best."
Zimbabwe held their own during the warm-up game against Sagicor High Performance Centre, with Hamilton Maskadza scoring a century and Vusi Sibanda 80.
However, the odds are against them.
They haven't played a five-day game since New Zealand thrashed them by an innings and - 301 runs a year ago.
Zimbabwe are about to play their fifth Test since ending their six-year exile from Test cricket in 2011.
The first Test begins in the middle of a competitive West Indies cricket season which Sammy says will work in favour of his men.
"The good thing for us is that everybody has been playing cricket. four-day tournament is on, so most guys are coming from playing four-day cricket which is good for us," he said.